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Thread: Zeus Publications

  1. #1
    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Zeus Publications

    I'd like to share my experiences with Zeus Publications, a Queensland small publisher resident in Burleigh, just behind the Gold Coast of tourist fame. I'd sent my proposals to two major publishers, one at a time as they dictated. It took a year to get the two rejection slips and I thought I'd be published posthumously if I kept going like this. Then I attended a meeting of a writers' group and heard a published author talk about Zeus.

    Zeus is a 'partnership' publisher. I had to pay $2,000 up front but after that they do lots for the author. They arranged a couple of radio interviews, a couple of book signings. They paid for professional editing, production of the cover art, ISBN etc. They did everything. The only difference is they are small and the author has to do a fair amount of marketing for best results.

    So, for any Aussie who needs a publisher who will do an honest three years work to get your book out there, in my opinion Zeus is worth considering.

  2. #2
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumut View Post
    Zeus is a 'partnership' publisher. I had to pay $2,000 up front but after that they do lots for the author. They arranged a couple of radio interviews, a couple of book signings. They paid for professional editing, production of the cover art, ISBN etc. They did everything.
    I'm glad that you're happy with your experience, but commercial publishers handle the editing, art, ISBN, etc. - and they don't expect writers to cover those expenses.

    The only difference is they are small and the author has to do a fair amount of marketing for best results.
    So on top of the payment, which according to Zeus's website is "as low as AUD $2,200", the author shoulders the costs of marketing.

    So, for any Aussie who needs a publisher who will do an honest three years work to get your book out there, in my opinion Zeus is worth considering.
    I clicked on one of the books featured on the "Specials" link. The blurb needs editing in regards to punctuation.

    Quote Originally Posted by the blurb
    Creating a baby, is supposed to be a joyful and natural progression in a woman's life, unless she is faced with the seemingly impossible challenge of infertility and Invitro Fertilization.
    Not much is determined, about the vast physical and emotional strain, enduring a minefield of drugs, needles, operations, and grief can produce.
    I also checked the cover prices of some of the books and didn't find even one that was below $19.95. Most seemed to be around $22.85 and I saw one or two that were over $30. Are these priced in such a way that they can compete with books put out by commercial publishers?

  3. #3
    . JJ Cooper's Avatar
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    That's the thing about being an Aussie.

    You can count on one hand the good agents over here. Of those, they either don't accept manuscripts from frist time authors or you have a small window of opportunity to query. They also have this thing called 'manuscript assessment service'. Now the good agencies don't require this, but hey - they won't accept your polished product unless you have some letters after your name, you have had your face on television, or you've had a leg bitten off by a shark and you pulled out one of its teeth and poked it in the eye.

    So having your manuscript read by an agency here is like winning the state lottery. Being signed as a new author is like winning the national lottery. On the off chance this doesn't happen, Aussie authors turn to just about anyone who'll help. If we are that passionate about getting our work published, we'll pay. One of our biggest exports now, Matthew Reilly, had to self-publish his first book and then went straight to a publisher after that (he still doesn't have an agent). This is why we head to US and UK agents for a shot at getting published.

    If I get over two hundred rejections for my first novel, Zeus may well be an option.

    Curious, Mumut, I have been looking for a writers group in Brissy. Which writers group do you attend?

    JJ
    Last edited by JJ Cooper; 02-17-2008 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Spelling
    My first thriller, The Interrogator, was published by Random House Australia in August 2009.

    My second, Deadly Trust, was published by Random House Australia in August 2010.

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    'Packed with intrigue and authentic detail, full of twists, THE INTERROGATOR is a memorable debut.'
    Jeff Abbott, International bestselling author

  4. #4
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Cooper View Post
    You can count on one hand the good agents over here. Of those, they either don't accept manuscripts from frist time authors or you have a small window of opportunity to query. They also have this thing called 'manuscript assessment service'. Now the good agencies don't require this, but hey - they won't accept your polished product unless you have some letters after your name, you have had your face on television, or you've had a leg bitten off by a shark and you pulled out one of its teeth and poked it in the eye.

    So having your manuscript read by an agency here is like winning the state lottery. Being signed as a new author is like winning the national lottery. On the off chance this doesn't happen, Aussie author turn to just about anyone who'll help. If we are that passionate about getting our work published, we'll pay.
    I don't really think you speak for all Australian authors in this. Every country can cite some self-publishing successes--that doesn't make self-publishing (or vanity publishing) a viable alternative route. The rules in Australia are no different from those in the UK or the USA--paying to publish can work under quite specific circumstances, but for most writers, it is not a great way to start a writing career.

    It's true that there aren't many literary agents in Australia, as compared to the UK or the USA--the same is true for Canada, and the reasons have to do with the relative smallness of the book market there. However, there are good agents down under--the Australian Literary Agents' Association has a membership list. If you run out of names there, there's no reason why you can't approach agents in the US or the UK (both of which have similar professional agents' associations).

    Established agents in Australia are no less willing than established agents anywhere else to consider new authors--even those with two legs and no shark attacks to speak of. It's a common writers' myth that successful agents aren't interested in newcomers--but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, Joe Newbie may be a lot more attractive to an agent (and a publisher) than Jean Midlister. True, Joe is an unknown quantity, which means he could fail--but that means he might also be wildly successful. Jean, on the other hand, who is dragging around her flat sales record, is a known quantity--and not in a good way.

    Turning to paid publishing services because you believe agents won't be interested in a newcomer is a mug's game. You don't know till you try. If you have tried and things haven't worked out, there are many smaller publishers that don't require authors to be agented. These may not pay an advance, but they don't make the author pay. Again, there are circumstances in which paying to publish makes sense (as long as you choose wisely whom to pay--"partnership publishers" are generally not the best choice). But for most writers, it should be a final, fallback option, not the first line of attack.

    - Victoria

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW kiwiauthor's Avatar
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    Hmmm, not sure 'agenting culture' should be conflated as 'US' agenting culture, there are definitely regional/national differences. I can't speak for our cousins across the ditch, but in New Zealand it is far more a case of who you know.

    Case in point: The scenario where one of the top agents accepts manuscripts on the basis that they have been referred to her thtrough her friend's professinal editing service, and openly channels enquires to her friend's website. When I questioned this practice with other notable New Zealand Agents, it was a case of well, yeah, we know what you're saying, but that's just the way is. BTY this happened a few years back, so things might have changed, hence I'm not mentioning names.

    In terms of self publishing, absolutely agree with Victoria. Why would you pay to have a book published that, percentage wise, might sell a few dozen copies annually, and worse, damage your chance at genuine publication down the road. If agents and publishers have passed on the work, then the chances are they have done so for good reason. If you then turn around and pay to have your book published, you could be doing damage to your future publishing chances. An author of a 'rubbish work' with poor sales is in a far worse position than an unpublished writer, generally speaking.

    One would probably be better, shelving the manuscript, thinking about the comments received from agents and publishers and then starting another book.

    BTY. Congrats. on the 'apology' Australia.
    Last edited by kiwiauthor; 02-17-2008 at 01:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Cooper View Post
    That's the thing about being an Aussie.

    Curious, Mumut, I have been looking for a writers group in Brissy. Which writers group do you attend?

    JJ
    It was The Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland, JJ. QWC (Queensland Writers' Centre - the Government supported organisation) has lists of local writers' groups. I visit Caboolture, Bribie, Burpengary and Narangba groups.

  7. #7
    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriastrauss View Post
    Turning to paid publishing services because you believe agents won't be interested in a newcomer is a mug's game. You don't know till you try. - Victoria
    I tried, Victoriastrauss. Of the twelve agents listed in the agents website eight were'nt accepting new writers. One didn't accept my genre and the other three were not interested in taking me on as an author.

    So I think you're wrong. It's Catch 22 here. Most big publishers won't take you on without going through an agent. It's harder to get an agent to take you on than to get accpted by a publisher.

  8. #8
    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiauthor View Post
    An author of a 'rubbish work' with poor sales is in a far worse position than an unpublished writer, generally speaking.
    BTY. Congrats. on the 'apology' Australia.
    Ah, well. It's now been accepted as one of the books acceptable for New South Wales students to read to compete in the the NSW Premier's Readers Challenge 2008 and has been accepted for publishing in Canada, USA. So I, personally, don't agree it is necessarily a poor book that is accepted by a partnership publisher. What I'm saying, I suppose, is that a writer continually being rejected can consider publishing methods away from the traditional

  9. #9
    Mushroom Polenth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumut View Post
    I tried, Victoriastrauss. Of the twelve agents listed in the agents website eight were'nt accepting new writers. One didn't accept my genre and the other three were not interested in taking me on as an author.

    So I think you're wrong. It's Catch 22 here. Most big publishers won't take you on without going through an agent. It's harder to get an agent to take you on than to get accpted by a publisher.
    You seem to be saying that you only tried Australian agents. Yet you went and found a publishing company in North America, so it wasn't that you had an aversion to working overseas. I'm obviously missing something here, because the next logical step seems to be querying American agents. Not only are there oodles of them, they want new writers and equeries are free. An agent in the country would be a big help for planning marketing visits and the like too, as they'll know the country.

    It's probably too late this time around, but it might be a thought for your next book.
    * Polenth *

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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW kiwiauthor's Avatar
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    Mumet, have you tried Allen Urwin's Friday Pitch?

    And with regard to authors taking alternative routes to publication, absolutely agree, just go in with your eyes wide open and this means knowing the risks.

    All the best with your work.

  11. #11
    Well begun is half done... Mumut's Avatar
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    next time

    Quote Originally Posted by Polenth View Post
    An agent in the country would be a big help for planning marketing visits and the like too, as they'll know the country.

    It's probably too late this time around, but it might be a thought for your next book.
    Thanks, Polenth. I've tried a few agents in UK but came away confused. I was not thinking of USA when I contacted Lachesis. I thought they were only Canada. As you say, maybe next time but your suggestion is gratefully received.

  12. #12
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumut View Post
    It's harder to get an agent to take you on than to get accpted by a publisher.
    This is a common perception, but logic refutes it. A publisher publishes every writer it acquires. There are no "maybes" with publisher acquisition. For an agent, on the other hand, it's all "maybes." The agent knows that despite her best efforts, she won't be able to sell some of the manuscripts she takes on. To offset that failure rate, she needs a cushion. I'm not saying it's easy to get a good agent--it's not--but if your work is marketable, it's easier to become agented than it is to become published.

    - Victoria

  13. #13
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Proach's Avatar
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    Zeus Publications

    It ends up that subsidy publisher Zeus Publications is now following me on Twitter. The company is based in Australia. Has anyone published a book with this publishing company before? If so, what was your experience?



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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin TornVeilBooks's Avatar
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    Don't pay for a service to publish your book. Subsidy publishing is not the right way to go.

    Too many horror stories. Far too many. Besides, you should be paid for your work, not paying someone else.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW kelliewallace's Avatar
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    I had a publishing deal with Zeus too. At the time I didnt know they were a vanity. Looking back paying the over two grand for shotting editing and an unpleasant editor I wouldnt go back ever to these people.
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